One significant reason today's most successful businesses are effective is because their brands are top of mind when consumers think about the product or service they offer.
Building a strong brand presence puts your company in the forefront of industry sales, and gives you an advantage over your competition from the start.
Take "peanut butter cups," for instance. Like most consumers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup immediately comes to mind, even though there are tons of brands that produce similar candy products.
Their strategic marketing campaigns, such as, “There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s,” and, “You got peanut butter in my chocolate,” put them on the map. Not only does the Hershey Company have a spectacular product, but they have invested a great deal of time and energy to develop brand loyalty.
Those catchy jingles and memorable sayings associated with their product are meant to get inside your head. Strong branding and messaging builds brand awareness, and ultimately increases sales and revenue. Is it any wonder that their business earns $510 million just from the sale of this candy bar?
So, how can you build awareness for your brand? Follow these simple steps.
4 simple steps to increase brand awareness
1. Attract Leads with Promotional Merchandise
One of the most powerful words in any advertising campaign is the word “free.” People love coupons, giveaways, and contests.
Promotional merchandise has long been used to get free samples of your brand into the public’s hands. You can easily put your name in front of hundreds of people each day by gifting items such as pens, notebooks, water bottles, hats, and t-shirts designed with your logo and branding. Since consumers love free gifts, this method often works well.
When using promotional products, they must be durable and useful for the customer base that is being targeted.
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth advertising. If you have a customer that is happy with your products or services, they will tell a friend who will tell another friend.
The same works the other way too. If you have a disgruntled customer, they will be sure to tell others all about it too. Having a good reputation is essential to a business. Own the conversation by giving your customers something positive to talk about. Surprise and delight them with thoughtful custom merch that adds value to their lives.
2. Social Media is the Hottest Advertising Method Around
How did life even exist before social media? Today’s world is consumed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and the other platforms that pop up each day.
Is your company set up with accounts on all the major media sites? If not, you could be costing yourself valuable sales.
A business that doesn’t have a social media page is missing great opportunities to connect with their customer base. Social media is an incredible way to attract new leads and nurture existing customers. Hosting contests and giveaways, sharing original and relevant content, and getting people engaged with your social channels are great ways to fuel brand awareness.
Millennials are a bit savvier when it comes to technology and marketing strategy. They don’t have the time or the attention span for cold calls and hour-long demonstrations.
They want to engage with companies in a different way. This generation of consumers wants their relationship with a company to develop organically, and to not feel pressured into a deal.
While display ads and paid search both have their place in this equation, social media provides a means for brands and consumers to engage with each other in, seemingly, real-time. This tool opens up the opportunity for a conversation, whether they want to express an opinion or ask a question about your business, your social media channels are an outlet for genuine communication around your brand.
3. Podcasts Are Striking a Chord with Customers
When is the last time you listened to the AM/FM radio? Instead, you probably tune into Sirius or stream Spotify from your smart device. The radio was big back in the day, but today’s listener doesn’t want commercials and all the extras.
They want the convenience and the quality of topic-specific content that podcasts offer. Podcasts allow people to engage in the conversation and tune into the topics that interest them, on their own time.
People can now listen to content they are interested in, whenever and wherever they want. Many tech and marketing companies have adopted this method, and have grown awareness for their brand by inviting industry experts with large followings on their podcasts.
4. How Influencers Can Really Help The Bottom Line
Influencer marketing is the method of using influencers, or people who already have a huge social media following, to speak about your brand. To get the most impactful RoI from using this approach, brands must find the right influencers with the right audience on the right platforms. Their followers should align with your company's target audience, and their popularity should exist on platforms you know your target audience engages on. Once you find the right people to promote your brand, send them an influencer kit full of free samples and promotional products to share with their network.
Our agency collaborated with Converse and Wiz Khalifa to build an influencer kit to be gifted on behalf of the brand. Inside the custom built DJ case was a collection of branded merch, including a pair of shoes from their exclusive line, Wiz's new album, branded ear buds, and more. In addition, the recipients were requested to share their gift on social media, creating a buzz among their audience and driving traffic to the brand.
Additionally, offering unique discount codes during these sessions has proven to be an effective way to drive an influencer's followers to your business.
The Need For Brand Awareness
A strong brand is an essential part of any business. Today's brand strategy methods are night and day different from the tactics used in years past. However, the premise is still the same. You must get your brand recognized by the public. Whether you sell a soft drink or software, your brand should always be top of mind.